African gender lens investment firm Alitheia IDF announces its final close at $100m

Alitheia IDF is Africa’s first woman-led and women-focused equity fund. It has closed its US$100 million final close.

alitheia idf

Tokunboh Ishmael and Polo Leteka, principal partners, Alitheia IDF invest in growth-stage companies in six African countries: Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana.

As a way to catalyse the economic power of African women producers, distributors and consumers, the fund will fill the more than US$42 billion gap between male entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs.

The fund started implementing its mandate in 2021 by investing in five women-led businesses: Jetstream Africa (Ghana), ReelFruit, Nigeria, SKLD (formerly SchoolKits Nigeria), AV Light Steel, South Africa, and Chika’s Food, Nigeria.

Alitheia IDF stated that the close of the fund, valued at US$100million, makes it the largest African investment bank. It was closed after the European Investment Bank joined as the closing investor and invested US$24.6 million.

Globally, women possess tremendous purchasing power as consumers and controllers in household economics. Women entrepreneurs are also a prominent presence in Africa’s SME industry. African women make up 58% of the continent’s self employed population. Ishmael stated that despite their economic power and presence, African women remain underserved as producers and consumers.

This has had a huge impact on economic growth, as more than half the continent’s potential remains untapped because of structural and systemic problems. This gap is being filled by proactive efforts to fill it. We have a clear mandate for supporting women-led businesses on the continent and raising awareness about gender smart investments as a way towards inclusive economic growth.

Thomas Ostros, vice-president of EIB, stated that women-owned businesses struggle to raise funds despite their proven performance.

“It is a pleasure to support the true “by women, for women” 2X Flagship fund which invests in companies that create job opportunities and increase diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy. EIB’s investment into Alitheia IDF was part of our SheInvest initiative, which aims to mobilize EUR2B of investment to promote gender equality and economic empowerment on the African continent. He said that he believes gender equality is a way to make societies more stable.

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